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Watch Out For Credit Card Fraud
Purchasing items on credit may cost more than you bargained for. Whether swiping your card or online shopping, stopping credit card fraud is becoming harder every day.
Something as simple as ordering pizza could cost you major bucks if the wrong person gets your credit card. One Springfield couple said they hear about credit card fraud all the time, but never thought it would happen to them.
As an IT specialist, Shane Bumgarner's job requires him to make sure his company's computers are running smoothly.
"We do a little bit of everything, security stuff occasionally," Bumgarner said. "Whatever needs to be done around here."
He was shocked to find out he couldn't stop his own bank account from being hacked into.
"Doesn't matter what you do for a living, it's easy for someone to steal your credit card," Bumgarner said.
Shane and his wife were out for pizza one night and decided to pay with his bank card instead of using cash.
"I always pay attention that it doesn't leave my sight, but when it did, it just set off a mental alert that hey, my credit card just left my sight," Bumgarner said. "I didn't think anything of it."
He didn't realize it, but he was a hacker's next victim.
One month later, his wife received a credit card statement with an unfamiliar purchase.
She found out the charge was for something called Zencense but it turns out it's a cannibanoid," Bumgarner said.
Someone got away with buying the synthetic marijuana on an online website, running Shane's credit card bill up $1,000.
"It happens to more people more times than they would ever hope or expect it to happen," Scott Mulford with the state Attorney General's Office said.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently uncovered an international credit card fraud ring. Since 2003, the group of hackers racked up $200 million using identity theft. Mulford said the scam artists only have one reason for stealing your information
"They try to become you and open up accounts and damage the accounts you already have open," Mulford said. "It's something to be very very wary of."
"Be careful where you use your credit card," Bumgarner said. "Pay attention. If it goes out of your sight, it's easy for someone to swipe it."
Bumgarner and his wife were able to get their money back from the synthetic marijuana company.
Mulford has a few reminders for preventing credit card fraud:
- Watch your surroundings when using ATMs.
- Shred items with your identity listed on them.
- Don't carry your social security card in your wallet.
- Carry only the credit cards you need.
- Mail outgoing bills at the post office, not your home mailbox.